Kerala Police now want to reinstate SIs as SHOs in one-third stations

The 2019 decision had drawn flak from within the department.

Published: 05th January 2023 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th January 2023 06:23 AM   |  A+A-

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(Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state police are planning to partially push the undo button on one of its landmark schemes -- the appointment of inspectors as Station House Officers (SHO) -- after it was assessed that the move has dented the efficiency of the department and affected the proper functioning of individual police stations. It was in 2019 when Loknath Behera was the State Police Chief that the department changed the existing pattern of sub-inspectors (SI) being the SHOs and instead chose the inspectors to perform the role.  As of now, out of 484 local police stations, about 479 have inspectors as SHOs. Highly-placed sources said the department has decided to seek government nod in rolling back the decision in at least one-third of the stations. Once it happens, about 150 stations will have sub-inspectors as SHOs.

A senior police officer said the 2019 decision to appoint inspectors as SHOs was a ‘Himalayan blunder’ and was taken by the then police chief without due consultations with other senior officers.

“The decision was taken to accommodate about 400-odd sub-inspectors, who were to be promoted as inspectors. Apart from that promotion angle, no other aspects were considered,” said the officer. According to other police sources, the move backfired as the department lost one layer of supervision with the appointment of inspectors as SHOs.

“Earlier SIs were the SHOs. So, the inspectors had a supervisory role. When the inspectors became SHOs, we did not have an alternative for their supervisory role. The DySPs had their hands full and could not monitor the functioning of each police station,” said a source within the police headquarters.

The 2019 decision had drawn flak from within the department. The IPS Association too stood up against it. However, it was the suggestion of two ADGP-level committees, which studied the matter, that gave impetus to the detractors of the decision. The committees, sources said, had suggested a partial rollback of the decision. “Currently, the department is bracing to appoint SIs as SHOs in light police stations, which witness less registration of cases as well as grave crimes. In the case of stations that witness heavy action, the inspectors will continue to hold the charge of the SHO,” the source added.

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